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    Notes and advice from Sean McColl.

Canadian Visitor

This past week, I’ve had the privilege of housing one of my good friends from Canada, Marshal German. He had planned a trip through Europe with the hopes of swinging by Egypt and managed to get his flights in and out of Toulouse, where I’m living. Marshal arrived on Wednesday after a heinous 24 hours of flights starting in Edmonton and going through Vancouver and then Frankfurt. He also had the unfortunate situation to be sitting beside an individual that didn’t smell all that good on the long haul flight. For the past few days, we’ve just been settling in and touring around Toulouse. On one of the days, Marshal and I went on a 5 hour adventure through downtown Toulouse while Mathilde was doing some homework. We left at 11, and after a couple of hours, we went for lunch at Les Faim des Haricots. I’ve been there before and it’s a pretty good restaurant. It’s a small place that’s 100% vegetarian. There’s 5 different type of “all you can eat” you can get. There’s
  • Salad Bar (including some pasta)
  • Quiches
  • Plate of the Day
  • Soup
  • Dessert
For 1 dish all you can eat, it’s 10€, for 2 it’s 11€, etc. We grabbed another daily special that included a half L of cider and a coffee and after a good hour at the restaurant, we were two very happy individuals. I had been there before and gotten take out in which you just grab a bunch of stuff, they weigh it and charge you whatever. Sometimes I find it hard to actually eat 10€ worth of food but this time, I decided it was worth a try! Another new thing that I got around Christmas was a new DSLR camera. After going to Switzerland and seeing Daniel Woods and Courtney Sanders who have the same camera body, I decided to invest in a nice camera so I bought the Nikon D7000. After reading a bunch of online articles, that was the top of the list. Along with taking very nice pictures (after I learn how), it also shoots 1080p video which is perfect for my climbing adventures. After a couple weeks of looking around, I found one that wasn’t too cheap and bought two lenses to go with it. I found the standard Nikon 18-55mm VR f3.5 which comes with many of the Nikon packages and also bought the Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 wide angle lens off my friend Gary Foster mainly because he found he didn’t really use it. That was the lens I really wanted to get mainly because I set up my stuff on a tripod and just hit record. With the wide angle, it’ll be perfect for getting climbing videos! This shot is from my couch, looking towards the TV with a little Panda! [singlepic id=283 w=480 h=320 float=center]   I’m excited to start shooting and I’ve never had an SLR before. I’ve been reading up as much as I can including all of Ken Rockwell’s articles and almost the whole D7000 User’s Manual. This is one of my first shots of my living room as well. [singlepic id=281 w=480 h=320 float=left]   Yesterday morning, after getting halfway through breakfast, Marshal goes, “oh, my mom just let me know it’s my birthday today…” I could hardly believe it, but then again… it’s a common thing to forget isn’t it? So after getting a few things together, we had a nice dinner for Marshal, opened a bottle of wine and finished it with an apple crumble that Mathilde and I made. Not a bad way to spend your birthday, at least he wasn’t camping 🙂 Marshal is also the first person to stay with Mathilde and me in our apartment. It’s a small place, but for 3, and possibly 4 people, we can manage for a while. [singlepic id=282 w=640 h=480 float=center]   While Marshal is still here, we’ve decided to try and do some bouldering in Fontainebleau. We’re going to try and drive up Monday morning and I’ll stay for the week. Mathilde has some crazy school days, so I’d be bored at home anyways. After our week, I think Marshal will stay in Font while I’ll come back down to Toulouse and train for the last 3 weeks before ABS.  

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    The apartment looks cozy. Man what a super camera you got…love it. Enjoy your time in France. Is the weather cooperating?
    Looking forward for the comp season to see you in action again. This is the year!


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